Wednesday, March 13, 2019


Like most of you, I am disgusted with this entire scandal that is pushing so many Catholics away from the Church. The survey below proves that this is happening, but common sense also tells us that it was bound to happen.

In the post-Vatican II touchy-feely, horizontal Church (and certainly a part of the current meltdown begun in the touchy-feely 70's) that prefers Kumbaya to "O, Lord I am not worthy", it was bound to happen.

I would say that some blame has to be laid at the feet of Pope St. John Paul II and his galloping around the world as a super-celebrity which caused the cult of the celebrity to be directed towards his person, not only the institution of the papacy.

Of course this cult of celebrity was happening in dioceses and parishes, where priests were front and center, facing the congregation and loved or despised depending on their qualities of looks, personality, ability to perform at Mass and the like.

I presume there were popular and not so popular priests, bishops and popes in the past, but these judgements were not based upon the acting abilities or lack thereof of the priests celebrating the Tridentine Mass. There was simply no room for this kind of nonsense except maybe during the homily.

And certainly the focus of the Tridentine Mass is not on the human priest or the laity behind him, but on Jesus Christ, our High Priest who offers Himself in Sacrifice to His Heavenly Father for our sins and the sins of the world in a perpetual and eternal way for our salvation.

I suspect Catholics who worship God rather than their clergy, bishop or pope are the ones staying for the most part.

Survey: More than a third of US Catholics question loyalty in wake of scandals

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Vatican on Feb. 24, 2019. Francis celebrated a final Mass to conclude his extraordinary summit of Catholic leaders summoned to Rome for a tutorial on preventing clergy sexual abuse and protecting children from predator priests. The Mass was celebrated in the Sala Regia, one of the grand, frescoed reception rooms of the Apostolic Palace. (Giuseppe Lami/Pool Photo via AP)
(RNS) — A new survey reveals that more U.S. Catholics are questioning whether they should remain in the church today than when news of the “Spotlight” child sex abuse scandal broke in the Boston Archdiocese in 2002.

According to a poll released Wednesday (March 13) by Gallup, more than a third of U.S. Catholics — 37 percent — surveyed in January and February said they have questioned whether they should remain in the church. That’s up from 22 percent in 2002, when The Boston Globe published its report detailing widespread child sex abuse by priests in the city.

Frequent churchgoers were less likely than other Catholics to say they are rethinking their affiliation with the faith this year. Only 22 percent of Catholics who attend church weekly today said they have considered leaving the faith, compared with 37 percent of those who attend nearly weekly or monthly and 46 percent of those who seldom or never attend.

However, all groups showed an increase of 10 percentage points or more compared with the 2002 polling. Back then, 12 percent of those who attended church weekly, 24 percent of those who attended nearly weekly or monthly and 29 percent of those who seldom or never attended had considered leaving the church.

Graphic via Gallup
The shift comes in the wake of the 1,300-page grand jury report released by Pennsylvania’s attorney general in August 2018, which included accounts of alleged sexual abuse by hundreds of Catholic priests against more than 1,000 children in that state over a 70-year span. At least 14 attorneys general in other states have since said they would launch their own investigations or reviews of clergy abuse, and federal authorities have initiated reviews as well.

In November 2018, police searched the offices of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese — the see of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops — as part of an investigation into a priest accused of abuse in Texas.

The flurry of renewed coverage of the scandal was compounded by allegations of an abuse cover-up in Chile that led to the resignation of several bishops there last year; the conviction of Australian Cardinal George Pell in February on charges of sexually abusing two choirboys in the 1990s; and the defrocking of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after allegations that the onetime archbishop of Washington, D.C., sexually abused seminarians and a minor earlier in his career.

Pope Francis attempted to address the scandal in February by hosting a four-day conference at the Vatican on the subject, where prominent bishops heard from multiple abuse survivors and the pontiff called for an “all-out battle” against abuse in the church. However, many advocates for survivors left the gathering disappointed by what they saw as a lack of concrete action.

Even so, Gallup reports that most American Catholics still largely support Pope Francis, with 58 percent saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in him. Roughly the same amount — 59 percent — said they had the same level of confidence in the priest at their church, but only 30 percent said the same about U.S. bishops and other Catholic leaders in the country.

Graphic via Gallup

Differences in confidence levels arise when Catholics are broken out by church attendance. Among Catholics who attend church weekly, 86 percent said they had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the priests at their church, compared with 64 percent of those who attend weekly or monthly and 39 percent of those who never attend.

Graphic via Gallup
Notably, there was more consistent agreement among the groups about their confidence in Pope Francis, with 68 percent of Catholics who attend church weekly saying they had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in him, 61 percent who attend weekly or monthly saying so and 50 percent of those who never attend.

Gallup hasn’t asked the same question about confidence in the past for comparison. But it did release data in January showing that the percentage of U.S. Catholics who rate the honesty and ethical standards of the clergy as “very high” or “high” is at its lowest since at least 2004: Only 31 percent of Catholics rated clergy as such in 2018, an 18-point drop from 2017 and a 32-point drop from a 2008 spike in support.


Dan said...

Smaller - YES!

Purer - HA! It's people disgusted with the NON-CATHOLIC direction Francis is leading that are leaving. Also, those for whom Francis is too conservative.

TJM said...

Hey is this the vaunted "Francis Effect" liberal "catholics" used to crow about?

rcg said...

This is probably a good profile of the human race. About 1/3 of us will give up when the darkest hour is at hand. Another third may feel loyalty, but abandoned. A far smaller group will remember the light that was, and will be and press on “as they take from you, I engraft you new.” If the Church is making a mistake it is in trying to be everything to everyone.

Woody said...

When my petition to transfer my enrollment from the sui juris Roman Catholic Church to the sui juris Byzantine Catholic Church is approved, I will comment. Until then, laying low.

Anonymous said...

I notice the scandals are happening in the Western (Latin) Rite---any happening in the Eastern Rite of the Church? There are not many eastern-rite parishes but that could be an alternative---other than that, head over to the Eastern Orthodox Church, and certainly not over to liberal Protestantism. Saw an article recently that liberal Protestantism in some denominations have lost half or more of their members, and while Southern Baptists have lost members, their rate of loss is far less than that of liberal Protestantism.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Success!!! Wa HOOOO! I bet Satan is doing a happy dance, and I bet all the apostates in the Church are high fiving each other. They are saying, "Just a few more of these scandals coming out, and we're home free! They'll have to close ALL the churches. Hoo Ya!"

I love how Gallup and others test the reaction, just like a scientific experiment...we do something to cause a scandal, then we release the information, then we test just how effective it was at generating the result we were hoping for. Lather, rinse, repeat.

God bless.

Anonymous said...

Well, not to ramp up controversy or throw light into the darkness, but our son’s fiancée, presently in RCIA in Southern California, took part in the Rite of Election last Sunday. Nearly 1100 candidates were there, a number so large that the Rite had to be held in a huge theater auditorium.
I know, I know...have at it...

TJM said...


Just curious. Is RCIA there "catholicism lite" or the real deal? Here in Chicago, you might as well not bother with the instruction.

Anonymous said...

TJM, that’s one reason why I said “Have at it...”

TJM said...


Well, what is the reality of the RCIA? I remember a Baptism class I went to after our youngest daughter was born. No priest, just the amateurs of the parish politburo. No mention of the sacrament itself, its significance, etc. They just kept telling us it was all about belonging to a group of nice people. After about thirty minutes I asked them if we were going to talk about the sacrament of Baptism, because if we weren't, we could just join a country club if we wanted to be around a bunch of "nice people." They were not amused, but neither was I.

George said...

It is to be noted that those who seldom attend Mass and avail themselves of the sacraments are the ones least supportive of the Church and her priests. What we are dealing with today is a secular culture which is hostile to the Catholic faith in particular and Christianity in general. Far too many today are in a poor spiritual state, having succumbed to the counter-catechesis of secular humanism, situational ethics, widespread moral depravity. Things are the way they today in large part because the governing restraint and guidance that comes from a faith in God is lacking in large swaths of humanity. By ignoring or discounting traditional values and religious teachings, man ends up a slave to his passions and his selfish desires and so abandons his faith. If our society today was not so much blinded by sinful behavior, and it's collective conscience not so darkened, what the Church holds to be true would prevail in our society today, because the Truth which is embodied in our Faith is greater than anything which is in opposition to it, because its source is God, from whom all that is good comes, and who is Truth itself.
Like a structure in a storm, our Church has been lashed and buffeted by the winds of the powerful forces of modernism. Just like as in a storm though, it is the weak parts that are exposed and fail and fall away and it is those parts that need to be re-enforced which are revealed. While the forces of our age have done much harm to the Church, being of Divine origin she will never be brought to an end.
God, in the Person of the Divine Son ever calls people to faith and conversion. Man, being of free will can refuse the Divine call. As it says in our Catechism: "for he bore witness to the truth but refused to use force to impose it on those who spoke against it."

Cletus Ordo said...

Your photo at the top says it all: Francis and the other like-minded liberals. Old, stuck in the mindset of the failed revolution and bitterly clinging to it with every last fiber of their being. The anti-Church within the Church that was not only doomed to fail but determined to sabotage the success of Tradition.

How low can you get?

Victor said...

This is the New Pentecost à la Nouvelle Théologie from Vatican II.

TJM said...

Cletus Ordo,

Well the biological solution will take care of the problem of these bitter, old has-beens.

They are the opposite of the old saying: he found the City in brick, he left it all in marble.

Victor said...

This morning I learned that perhaps the most Catholic country in Europe, Poland, is facing its own huge abuse scandal:

I do not think it will take long for the Novus Ordo Church in Poland to face the same self-destruction of people leaving as in USA.